Tupper Lake to apply for housing rehab grants

TUPPER LAKE – The Tupper Lake village board recently agreed to apply for housing rehabilitation grants.

During Monday’s village board meeting, board members unanimously agreed to apply for two $400,000 grants to support a local housing rehabilitation program.

The New York state Affordable Housing Corporation grant and the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program grant would help improve properties throughout the village.

The program would help those eligible identify needed improvements to their property and cover a portion of the cost of those improvements.

To be eligible, homeowners must meet low-income requirements. That means they can make no more than 60 percent of the median annual household income, which here translates to about $34,000 for a family of four. Priority will be given to households that make only 30 percent of median income, which here is about $17,000.

Fire equipment

Also at the meeting, fire Chief Carl Steffen made two requests to sell equipment unused by his department.

“A few years ago the department purchased a pressure tester for hoses that has never been used,” Steffen said. “The only person in the department certified to test hose is myself, and you really don’t need a pressure tester to do it.”

Steffen said the pressure tester is still in its original packaging, and he estimates it could sell for about $2,500.

Mayor Paul Maroun asked if the department is required to test its hoses.

“By statute we don’t have to test the hose,” Steffen said. “Where it comes into play is with our ISO rating through the Insurance Services Office Inc. If you test the hose and you document it and you can show them, it lowers the rate on your ISO rating.”

The ISO rating is used by insurance companies to determine the cost of fire insurance in a municipality. The rating is on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being the best score.

“We’re currently at a 4.5 for the village, and a 9 for the town, and we won’t go any lower than that because it’s partly determined by the distance from water,” Steffen said.

The ISO office does an evaluation every few years. Insurance companies pay for the ISO rating, which is based on three main categories.

Ten percent of the grading is based on fire alarms, which includes response times, number of operators at the center and the number of telephone lines going into the center. Forty percent of the grading is based on water supply, and includes the flow rate of water mains and whether the community has a sufficient water supply for fire suppression beyond daily maximum consumption. Fifty percent of the grading is based on the engine companies in an area and includes firefighter training, distribution of fire companies and the frequency of equipment evaluations at the company.

Steffen said he hopes the construction of the new emergency services building, slated to begin in August, will have an impact on the rating. He also requested selling most of the department’s high-band pagers, which the board approved.

“We have 50 Apollo pagers right now,” Steffen said. “It’s surplus equipment. We’ll keep about six of them and sell the rest.”

Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or skittle@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.